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Are You A Member Of The Club, “There’s a Hole In My Wallet."

Monday, April 02, 2012
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Studies have shown that when money gets tight in the economy, a lot of us cut back on our groceries. We switch to buying cheaper prepared foods, and foods that stimulate our taste buds but are not necessarily good for our bodies/health. According to most health officials, the economic slump has a devastating impact on the population's diet and health.

So, are you a member?

A lot of us may actually wind up putting on the pounds by eating the so called comfort foods that are laden with sugar and saturated fats.

Practical tips to prevent wallet busting:
Offered below are a few tips to help you make better choices with a limited budget.
So guys, tighten your belts!

    1. Set a budget. Track all food purchases for a few weeks - groceries. Identify areas where you can cut back.
    2. Use leftover's from your freezer: - frozen cuts of meat, bags of cut green beans or shelled peas, other essentials that you might have forgotten about. You will find use for them.
    3. Out of season is always more expensive: Do you really need to buy out-of-season fresh produce each week, or will frozen veggies do during the week? In season is hands down less expensive. Set a weekly or monthly spending limit.
    4. Make a shopping list, and then stick to it. Keep a running list on the fridge and write down necessities as you think of them. Before you're off to the store, find out what's there in your pantry and fridge and add or remove items as needed.
    5. Buy only what you'll use. Purchase foods that you use regularly. Remember fruits and vegetables are still fairly cheap and also very filling .so don't miss out on them. 6. Do not experiment with new foods; if you happen to dislike a particular food or cuisine this isn't the time to try it. It will likely end up in the trash.
    7. Buying in bulk only helps if the food is a staple in your house like whole-wheat atta, eggs, biscuits, fruits or some staple vegetables like potatoes and onions in particular.
    8. Be realistic: If you don't eat too much of a particular food, don't buy a super size version as you probably will never get through the whole bag.
    9. Know your good, bad & evil comfort foods: Cook more at home - much cheaper. •  Cut down on buttery bakery foods like pastries, pies, puffs, cakes as well as other packaged foods like wafers, cookies, mixtures and fried variants.
    10. What's wrong with soul satisfying soups, grilled homemade panini sandwiches, chicken frankies or rolls & savory veggie omelet's just to name a few. These options are not only healthy but provide you with loads of nutrition

Shall We Play a Little Savings Game In India in Rupees...
Dinner for two at an average inexpensive restaurant.Time to wait 30 minutes
Rotis  - 4 nos:     Rs 100
Gobi matter        Rs 90
Dal makhani       Rs 120
Salad                  Rs  50
Dessert               Rs 240
Total bill              Rs 600

Cost of preparing dinner at home for two.
Gobi mattar      Rs 25
Rotis                 Rs.10
Dal tadka          Rs 50
Salad                Rs 20
Dessert             Rs 50  (cut fruits)
Total bill             Rs. 155

Time to plan -while commuting
Time to prepare   30 minutes

Which seems healthier both in cost as well as in eating? Think about it!!
Home food is less expensive and feeds more for the same rupee for rupee spent (you're able to feed all the family members - 3 meals a day),

Recession Cap Tips:
1. Healthy eating is all about balancing one's budget scale. Balance your meals and never, never, never overeat.

2. Be smart and turn this into an opportunity to save some money and become a healthier you.

So, close that hole in your wallet. Make the moolah go farther, and feel good about yourself, knowing you are a step ahead of the game.

By.Kanchan Saggi, Dietitian,

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User Comments

16 October, 2010 | Seema Choudhary | Reply

Seema Choudhary Smart buying would not only result in cost saving but can provide us with good nutrition too.Its a misconception that higher the cost of food better it would be in terms of nutrition.Its not true in most of the cases.

27 June, 2010 | Poonam Vaswani | Reply

Poonam Vaswani Hello Inchara,
You could try getting your wheat flour from local grinding mills i.e. the "chakkis". They give you freshly ground flour which has a higher fiber content than packed flours.

26 June, 2010 | Sunita P, Bronx, | Reply

Sunita P, Bronx, Anuradha is right,
I dont live in Queens, but Bronx - good area.
It is too expensive and far to go to Whole Foods.
we cant get best vegetables in some areas. There is no A& P or Pathmark near our house. I buy my vegetbles from the local delis and occasionaly farmers market on a Sunday if my husband has time to drive us.

26 June, 2010 | Anuradha, Queens, New york | Reply

Anuradha, Queens, New york It is becoming very hard to buy fruits and vegetables.
First they are so wilted at times, I dont want o pick them up.
then, they are also over priced.
sometimes, when the store gets certain vegetables they know local Indians love, the price is very high per kg.
So I buy canned sometimes. I know its not good because of too much salt.
What to do.

26 June, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Dear Sapna,

Cut and store veggies like cucumber, tomato, capsicum, cabbage etc in the refrigerator, in air tight containers. When ever you do not feel like cooking, quickly cook some pasta, combine with the veggies and bake them with little low-fat cheese to have whole a meal. The other option would be to make some exotic sandwiches with whole wheat bread and veggies on hand, you can also make a quick low fat smoothie to make it a complete meal.

In the recipe section of our website you will find many time saving and quick to make recipes. If you think ahead of time and have all the ingredients handy in fridge and at home, then cooking can be completed in no time and without feeling tired.

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy,
Senior Dietitian,

26 June, 2010 | Sapna | Reply

Sapna I am not a great fan of cooking and since I am also tired after work I rather go out. We eat out a couple of days a week, it saves me energy and lets me chill out. We try to eat the healthier foods and in clean not so hyped up places. Now tell me when I have no energy or motivation to cook what are my alternatives? I also know that outside food is a lot more expensive and not as tasty as my moms cooking, however I dont cook so well.

26 June, 2010 | Inchara | Reply

Inchara I remember my grand mom cleaning the whole wheat and then getting it milled to make a whole wheat flour and we never removed the husk from the flour. Polished rice was not known, but now we prefer to buy wheat flour packed in fancy packaging and though it says whole wheat flour, we do not find the husk in it. We pay through our nose for something which we know is not complete or whole. Ingredients or food prepared at home is always cost effective then buying something which is processed and packed by a manufacturer.

07 June, 2010 | Kanika Jain | Reply

Kanika Jain Many of us are under this impression that costlier the food, more nutritive it will be.However it is not always true.Some of the best examples of nutritive as well as economical foods are eggs and banana.So selecting the food carefully not only can provide us with wholesome nutrition but will not pinch our pockets too.

Kanika Jain

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